History of the Week
Written by Ronni Rosina
On March 17, in 461 AD the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, dies at the age of 76. St Patrick, born Maewyn Succat, lived as a Christian missionary for more than 40 years. Much of St Patrick’s life is written in his autobiography, the Confessio. Patrick lived with his wealthy Roman family in Scotland, until he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16. He was then brought to Ireland as a slave, working as a herder for 6 years, before escaping back to his native country. In England he became ordained as a bishop, and eventually returned to Ireland in the year 433. Once returning to Ireland, Patrick built churches all around the country, and converted thousands of people to Catholicism from their Celtic belief system. Saint Patrick worked for 40 years preaching the Bible and teaching of Christ. On March, 17th 461 Saint Patrick died at the age of 76. The people of Ireland the used his death date as a religious feast and titled him the patron Saint of Ireland, although he was never canonized as a Saint by the Catholic Church. However the first St Patrick’s day Parade was in the United States in the year 1762, showing unity and pride between Irish soldiers. America’s celebration of St Patrick’s Day has been used as a way to show love and strength in the Irish-American community in times of discrimination. Today St. Patrick’s day is celebrated all around the world, with very few people knowing its true meaning.